Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement with its long-time partner in research advocacies for agricultural progress, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), this time involving another agency that is responsible for the rehabilitation and transformation of prisoners—the Bureau of Corrections, through the San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm, Zamboanga City.
The partnership was sealed on Wednesday, February 18 at the Executive Conference Room of WMSU where the signatories were officials from the three mentioned institutions: Dr. Milabel Enriquez-Ho, President, representing WMSU; Dr. Edwin C. Villar, Director of the Livestock Research Division of PCAARRD and Mr. Marlon Morales, Chief of the Industry Development Division from the Bureau of Corrections Muntinlupa.
In her speech, Dr. Ho mentioned how grateful WMSU is for yet another endeavor the institution will be undertaking with PCAARRD, and welcoming BUCOR in its bandwagon.
According to Dr. Edwin Villar of PCAARRD, the agency makes investments only with reliable partners and BUCOR is an opportunity for PCAARRD to test its modality. Dr Villar further stated that technology should not be confined within the domains of the academe.
The program that PCCAARRD, WMSU and BUCOR will embark on is an Evaluation of the Profitability and Sustainability of the Zampen Native Chicken as Source of Livelihood in Rural Communities—the offshoot of the research on native chicken led by WESMARRDEC Director, Dr. Teresita A. Narvaez and some other WMSU faculty members and staff.
The MOU signing was also graced by other officials from the three institutions including LRD-PCAARRD’s Assistant Director, Dr. Synan Baguio; TTPD-PCAARRD’s Ms. Abigail F. Gueco; BUCOR-SRPPF’s Acting Supervisor, Mr. Emmanuel Narvaez, with Mr. Ulysses Garcia and Mr. John Jarabe of the Agro-Industry Division of SRPPF.
Dr. Synan Baguio of PCAARRD presented the guidelines and policies of PCAARRD-funded projects. Among the obligations of WMSU in the project is to provide the SRPPF inmates with Zampen native chicken production technology and pricing and marketing options thru trainings; to provide quality breeder and grower stocks for native chicken meat production purposes; to provide inputs such as feeds, vaccines and other medications; to provide technical assistance and other support services needed in the operation of the project; to assist in the marketing of live, dressed and other native chicken products and to conduct a periodic evaluation on a monthly basis on the status of the project.
In turn, BUCOR shall screen qualified inmates to be potential recipients of the native chickens. Soon to be released inmates are considered priority recipients. An estimated number of 30 inmates will be trained together with one prison guard on duty and two civilian employees assigned in the project.
The BUCOR shall also provide labor services and security in the management of the breeder and slaughter native chickens of the project. The services shall include the construction of needed facilities, pasture development, feeding, care and management during brooding, hardening, and growing, health and sanitation, record keeping, marketing and other related services.
This project of PCAARRD, WMSU and BUCOR is expected to stretch for one year, still subject for renewal on an annual basis.
A developmental venture such as this will not only build linkages among the three partner institutions but will more importantly benefit the community and the general public on every outcome the project will generate.
(Mandy Dalugdug – PAO, WMSU)